Just a month before his demise, former President APJ Abdul Kalam had advised DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy to work on reusable missiles system that can deliver a payload and launch it, come back and take another payload.
Mr. Reddy was then the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.
“After I became the scientific adviser, I met him [Kalam] at his residence just a month before his demise. He came up with the idea of reusable missile, delivering a payload, coming back, then take another payload and launch it… ‘Work on this type of system’, he told me,” Mr. Reddy recalled.
The meeting was held at the library.
“That is the vision he had,” Mr. Reddy added.
Kalam died on July 27. The former president resided at 10, Rajaji Marg, a single-storey bungalow spread over an area of 11,776 sq ft with the ground floor housing a library and an attached reading space.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman said he first came in contact with Kalam as a young scientist in 1986.
In 2012, the then DRDO Chairman V K Saraswat, in an interview to Doordarshan, said India plans to develop reusable missile system.
“We have propulsion technology, we have re-entry technologies, we have the technology which can take a re-entry system which will deliver a payload and have yet another re-entry system which will bring the missile back when it re-enters the atmosphere on its return journey,” Saraswat had said.
Reusable rockets are currently becoming popular. With its Falcon 9, Elon Musk’s Space X is also looking at capitalising on this technology. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully flight tested Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD).